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Notes on the

Stones of Maryland and Virginia

by Neil Allen Bristow

The origins of this family named Stone are obscure. The roots of the name go back to Anglo-Saxon stan, and it is often a place-name, given to someone who lived at a notable stone or a stony place. In some cases it may be an occupation-name, for someone who worked with stone (in this instance a synonym for Mason). And there may even be a few cases where it was a nickname, bestowed for someone's craggy looks or stolid manner.1 The name is not that rare. In 1990 it ranked in 158th place in the United States, with one in about 1,650 Americans bearing the surname.2 The numbers were increased somewhat by many immigrants to America from German-speaking areas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, who anglicized Stein to its English cognate to fit in more easily with their new neighbors.

Tidewater Maryland

Many of those who came to the Colony of Maryland in its early years were Roman Catholics, but if the immigrant Stones were adherents of that faith, their descendants were later absorbed into the dominant Protestant culture of early America. Some family historians have proposed connections to the Royal Governor William Stone, who ruled Maryland 1649 to 1656 and ran afoul of Parliamentary Commissioners during the Commonwealth period, but evidence is lacking.3 Likewise there is no connection linking the Calvert County Stones to the talented David Stone family of Charles County, which produced several public figures in Revolutionary times.4

Remains of wharf at Lyons Creek
Although there are scattered references in early Maryland records to persons named Stone in Calvert County, the eldest documented ancestor of our line is John Stone, Planter, of Lyons Creek Hundred on the Patuxent River west of Chesapeake Bay. A John Stone signed a will in 1693 in Calvert County leaving property to his daughter Martha Fields.5 Thomas Stone became an legatee of Richard Gardner in that year. He may be the same Thomas Stone who died in 1703 naming his brother Henry as sole heir.6 In the colonial period, planters who raised mostly tobacco for income relied on ready access to water to transport their crops and receive supplies from the home country. During the later steamboat era, Lyons Creek marked the limits of navigation on the Patuxent.

There is an undefined relationship to Thomas Stone, also of Calvert County, who died before 1751, when the inventory of his estate named as next of kin John Stone and John Stone, Jr.7 John married Mary Marshall (daughter of Thomas Marshall Sr), who was a legatee in 1719 of her grandfather, Samuel Clewly.8 The couple had at least nine children, who were named in John's will of 8 March 1764, along with several grandchildren.9 The children's names were: Margaret, Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, Rachel, Thomas, Ann, Priscilla, and William. None of the children other than Thomas, who seems to have been the middle son, have been traced, but Stones who could have been John and Mary's descendants appear in later Calvert records.10 But within a couple of decades all the Stones seem to have left the Lyons Creek area. In the 1783 tax list, neither Stones nor Marshalls are found in Lyons Creek Hundred, although James Stone and James Marshall are tallied in Calvert County's First District.11

The Virginia Piedmont

Thomas Stone moved to Albemarle County, Virginia, purchasing land in 1775 and additional land on Marsh Run in 1779.12 (There was an earlier cluster of Stones in Albemarle, but they do not seem to have been related to the Marylanders.)13
Piedmont Landcape
In a 1785 tax list he is charged with 12 white souls, 1 dwelling, and 6 other buildings.14 The 1810 census found Thomas, Henry, John and Kinzea, all prospering.15 There among the foothills of the Blue Ridge he and his wife Sarah raised eleven children, six boys and five girls, who are named in his will, dated 12 July 1812.16 Their dates of birth are mostly unknown, but can be estimated. Their marriage arrangements, like those many of their Virginia neighbors, led to some complicated kinships in later generations. Family members appear in court records of Albemarle and nearby counties.17 Although most of their children moved to new lands in the west with their families, some may have remained near the Blue Ridge.

Henry Stone, probably the eldest son, married twice. In 10 Nov 1786 he wed Nancy Golding, who soon died, leaving two small children. He then married 6 Jan 1792 Elizabeth Crossthwaite. They remained in Virginia until after 1822 when they moved to Fayette County Kentucky, where he died in 1829.18 Several of his dozen children went to Missouri.

Kinzea Stone was born 29 Oct 1774 and died 19 Feb 1846.19 He married 21 Dec 1797 Sarah Watts (1780-1834), daughter of Elijah Watts. They settled in Bourbon County, Kentucky by 1810, where he was a prosperous and respected citizen.20

Edward Stone, a bachelor, may have led his siblings the way to the Bluegrass. His activities drew attention to the family, both good and bad. He was a talented architect, but made his fortune dealing in slaves. He was killed in 1826 on a trip taking a load of slaves "down the river." His brother Kinzea served as the administrator of his estate.21

John Stone (1782?-1821) had a short-lived marriage 7 Apr 1799 to Elizabeth Burton. After her early death he married 6 Dec 1803 another Orange County girl, Judith Parrott. They also moved to Bourbon County where he died in 1821.22 A sketch of a son-in-law, Charles V. Higgins, gives some information.23

Thomas Stone, Jr., married 1 Jan 1802 Charlotte Dalton, daughter of William Dalton and Rachel Harris of Albemarle. About the time his siblings were venturing over the Appalachians to the Kentucky Bluegrass, he and Charlotte took a more southerly route and settled on the north bank of the Cumberland River in Middle Tennessee in Sumner County.24

Mary Stone, apparently the eldest daughter, married 8 Dec 1787 Thomas Crossthwaite (brother of Henry's second wife Elizabeth). They had six children.25 She died before 14 Nov 1799 when he remarried. His second wife, Elizabeth Rogers, died within a year, and he married 4 Nov 1800 Rachel Stone, Mary's younger sister. Rachel and Tom were in Boone County, Missouri before 1830. He died that year and she a few years later.

The other three daughters are known only by their mention in probate documents:26

Rebecca Stone married before 1812 Samuel Daugherty. Both were living in 1832.

Sarah Stone married before 1812 David Marr. She was widowed by 1832.

Elizabeth Stone married 11 May 1801 Edward Wood. An Edward Wood is listed in the 1810 census of Albemarle not far from the Stones, with a wife and five children.27 Both were living in 1832.

The youngest son, James Stone, in 1816 "made petition to erect a Water Grist Mill on Marsh Run above Tullocks New Mill" which had been built on land William Tullock bought from his parents in 1810.28 The bachelor was counted in the 1820 and 1830 censuses and continued buying and selling land into the 1830s.29 His last appearance in the records is in 1839 when he recorded a power of attorney.30




Click on note number to return to text.

1 For a good online source on the origin of surnames from around the world, free of the silliness that too often afflicts name sites, visit Last Name Meanings.

2 U.S. Census Bureau, Frequently Occurring Names and Surnames From the 1990 Census.

3 See Maryland's Roots for a sketch. Follow the links to biographies.

4 Of three brothers-- Thomas (1743-1787), John Hoskins (c.1750-1804), and Michael Jenifer (c.1747-1812) -- one was Governor and two went to Congress. See The Political Graveyard for links.

5 John also left a life interest to his wife Mary. [Maryland Wills 2: 262] Abstract in Jane Baldwin Cotton, Maryland Calendar of Wills (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968), 2: 67. Previously John had witnessed on 20 Feb 1692 the will of George Busse. [6: 46] See Cotton, 2: 64.

6 Sharing Gardner's legacy of 230 acres with Thomas was William Wickham. [Maryland Wills 2: 265 and 11: 364.] See Cotton, 2: 67 and 3: 20. There probably were connections among John, Thomas and Henry, but the surviving records are cryptic. For example, if John left no other children, our John could be a grandson of Thomas' brother Henry. Alternatively, John may have already made provision for any other children and felt no need to name them as heirs.

7 Calvert County. Inventory dated 5 Apr 1751 but not approved by the court until 16 Aug 1753. [Cited in Barbara Byram Milman, "milman6325" on Rootsweb's WorldConnect.] If John and John were his next of kin, the deceased Thomas may have been a brother, uncle or nephew, though a more distant relationship cannot be excluded. The five-decade gap between this probate and the earlier 1703 Thomas Stone will obscures any chain of kinship.

8 Samuel's name is given variously as Cluly and even Chiley. Mary inherited land known as The Defence. [Wills 15: 286] Cotton, 4: 222.

9 [Maryland Wills 32: 50] Cotton, 13: 9. It is unclear whether the grandchildren received legacies in the place of parents who were deceased or whether their parents were included in the nine children listed.

10 Milman cites the following: A James Stone signed the Oath of Allegiance in Calvert in 1778. Also, a Marshall Stone was listed as a private in Capt. Richard Lane's Calvert militia in 1778. Marshall Stone also took the Oath of Allegiance in 1778. A Thomas Stone was listed as a private in the Calvert militia and was enlisted by Lt. Nathaniel Wilson on 31 Aug 1776. A Thomas Stone was also listed as a private in Capt. Charles Williamson's company of Calvert militia. He also took the Oath of Allegiance in 1778. A William Stone was listed as a private in Capt. James Patterson's company of Calvert militia on 10 Aug 1777. A William Stone was also listed as a private in Capt. James Grahame's company of militia in 1778.

11 Bettie Carothers, 1783 Tax List of Maryland, Part I: Cecil, Talbot, Harford & Calvert Counties (Lutherville, MD: [author], 1977) , 172, 174. James Stone also owned 2 lots in Lower Marlboro. 184. Likewise Stones are absent from a list of Calvert citizens who took the 1777 oath of allegiance, but four Marshalls were listed (Martin, Richard, Thomas Jr., and William). Bettie Sterling Carothers, Signers of the Oath of Fidelity to Maryland during the Revolution vol. 2 (Chesterfield, MO: [author], n.d.), 37.

12 From Thomas Napier, location not in abstract. [Albemarle Deeds 6: 414.] Land on both sides of Marsh Run, from Symon Ramsey and Elizabeth his wife. [Deeds 7: 353.] Marsh Run flows from the north into the North Fork of the Rivanna River at what is now the crossroads of Advance Mills, a little south of the Greene County line. Although Thomas' wife appears in several records, she is identified only by her first name, Sarah or Sally.

13 Marvil (Marbil) of Halifax County, Hezekiah, and William are active from 1759 through the mid 1770s. See Albemarle Deed Books 2 through 6.

14 See Heads of Families.

15 1810 Census Albemarle County, 208, lines 14-17.
Thomas Stone: 0 0 0 1 1 - 0 0 0 1 0 - 0 - 17;
Henry: 2 1 2 0 1 - 2 2 1 1 0 - 0 - 6;
John: 3 0 0 1 0 - 1 0 0 1 0 - 0 - 17;
Kindsey: 2 1 0 1 0 - 2 0 0 1 0 - 0 - 3.
Among the four, they owned 43 slaves. The unmarried James may have been counted with his father.

16 See transcript of will. The children do not appear to be listed in strict birth order. Among the witnesses was William Marshall, who may have been a cousin. If so, some of his mother's family also came to the Piedmont from the Tidewater.

17 Edward Stone sold land in 1809 to John Stone [Albemarle Deeds 17: 40]. At this time he also gave John Stone power of attorney to act in his behalf. [Deeds 16: 571]. In 1811 Thomas Stone and Edward Stone sold to James Stone for $400 100 acres of land. [Albemarle Deeds 18: 38-39]

18 See his will. [Fayette County, Kentucky Wills K: 122-123.]

19 Dates for his family are found in a transcription of his Bible. Scott County Library, Georgetown, Kentucky.

20 His will is unusually comprehensive. See transcript. [Bourbon, Kentucky Wills M: 417.]

21 See the sketch of his unusual life.

22 His will, dated 27 Jan 1821, was admitted to probate in April. See transcript. [Bourbon Wills F: 393.]

23 "Charles V. Higgins" in W H Perrin, History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky (O. L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1882), 471.

24 See notes on Thomas and his children.

25 Her children shared in her brother Edward's estate, 1832. [Bourbon Deeds Z: 119 ff.]

26 Each is named in their father's will in 1812 and also in the division of their brother Edward's estate in 1832. [Bourbon Deeds Z: 119 ff.] Further details about their families or residences are so far lacking.

27 1810 Census, Albemarle County, 212, line 21. Data: 2 0 0 1 0 - 3 0 0 1 0 - 0 - 4. He is next to David, Drury, and William Wood, which may give a hint as to his kin.

28 "Thomas Stone Senr and wife Sally of Albemarle Co to William Tullock." [Albemarle Deeds 18: 322.] James' new mill was approved 2 Sep 1816. [Deeds 20: 156.] He had acquired the land from his parents 8 Feb 1811. [Deeds 8: 38.] I suspect that Tullock's mill gave way to a successor operated by the Fray family from 1833 which gave its name to the modern crossroads of Advance Mills. See a brief history of the area.

29 1820 Census, Albemarle Co., Virginia, 160. A single James Stone aged between 25-45. 1830, 287, still alone with 7 slaves. Milman, citing Darcy Slaughter, lists (for the year 1828) Deeds 27: 17, 288, and (1829) 479; (1830) Albemarle Deeds 28: 203, 406, (1831) 434; Deeds 29: 149, 171, 311, (1833) 312, 377, 457, (1834) [?]: 116.

30 Albemarle Deeds 32: 77.


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Copyright © 2004, Neil Allen Bristow. All rights reserved.
This page updated 24 June 2010.